Last time, we defined just what the Third Age is. You can read that post here. Today we will explore the mistakes people make in their third age with the hope that you “third agers” will begin thinking about what yours will look like.
Mistakes People Make
- The biggest is not planning for it! There is so much more than just the financial aspect, though there’s no question of its importance. Do you understand clearly what your sources of income will be? And have you tried creating a retirement budget?
- Underestimating how long you are likely to live. Throughout our lives we tended to think “life is over in old age” – that’s the youth culture in action. But today we know that life expectancy is increasing as we have advanced in science and healthy living. What will you be doing at age 100?
- Thinking you will spend your Third Age doing the things you wish you had had time for. Travel is becoming more expensive and less enjoyable than it was when we looked for escape holidays in the past. And the grandkids are busy creating their own lives.
- Escaping to a warmer climate where life is easy. It takes a long time to adjust to a new culture, language, money system, etc. – and it often takes years to create meaningful relationships. Research tells us that isolation is very unhealthy for people as they age, so your community connection and participation are important. The community you lived and worked in provides the best opportunities and support.
- Putting your kids and grandkids first. It’s your turn now. Put plans into place that take care of you – that’s the best thing you can do for them now.
- Avoiding end of life planning. You will rest easy when you have it organized. Make sure you have the legal stuff in place: a current will, power of attorney and advance care directive and long term care plan.
- Avoiding the simplification exercise. Downsize your living arrangements so that life is simple. The more stuff you have, the more of your life it takes up. Sell what you don’t use, get rid of the old stuff that your kids don’t want (and that’s most of it). Take all that outdated paperwork to the shredder. Put all your important information into one binder and check it annually to ensure it’s current.
- Failing to explore your options for making meaningful use of your spare time. Have you considered a new hobby, part-time work in a happy place, going back to school, volunteering, a new community such as choir, walking, dancing or gardening?
If you want to take some action, you can find my 10-week course on building a meaningful retirement career here. My gift to you!